Japan. The Secret Sake Bar Kiyoi

Bustling Shibuya is a modern Tokyo district where a very small, modest and homelike sake bar is found, the Kiyoi. Via Culinary Backstreets.

A place with a simple menu and changeable according to the season, the Kiyoi is the type of bar where you would go for a laid-back drink in a homelike atmosphere. But as every successful place has a story to tell, the “tapas style” Kiyoi sake bar is not the exception.

It all starts with a hard worker entrepreneur woman, Yuri Murai. She initially began her business by opening an izakaya inspired by her parents’ restaurant. An izakaya is a traditional type of bar where small dishes and snacks are also offered, an equivalent to the Spanish tapas. At this Japanese home-style restaurant, Yuri included sake on her menu, as it’s an important part of the Japanese culture. Yuri became the director of a real estate company due to her business and qualified to be a real estate broker.

Last year, when she was still pregnant, the first floor under her izakaya spot became unoccupied and Yuri had the idea to continue expanding her business by taking the vacant location. She reshaped the place which included a room for a spacious refrigerated cabinet, perfect for sake storage. This is how the Kiyoi was born.

Now Yuri manages her time between being a mom and her sake business. She works alongside the sake consultant, Tomomi Sekei. Together, they came up with the name and the concept of Kiyoi, a cozy home that opens four to five days a week.

 

Don’t drink and drive. Enjoy responsibly